Thursday, October 16, 2008

Battle of Han River

The Battle of Han River is a battle during the Hanzhong Campaign fought between Liu Bei and Cao Cao in 219, one year prior to the official beginning of the Three Kingdoms period in China. The battle was the last major engagement in the campaign, where Liu Bei emerged victorious and declared himself the King of Hanzhong.


Liu Bei had just won the Battle of Mount Dingjun. Cao Cao mourned the loss of Xiahou Yuan, so he led a large army to attack Liu Bei's encampment south of the . Then Liu Bei sent Zhao Yun and Huang Zhong to Han Shui. Huang Zhong and Zhang Zhu went to burn Cao Cao's supplies, and Zhao Yun would stay at camp with Zhang Yi unless they did not return.


Huang Zhong was suppose to go and burn the supplies of rice Cao Cao had at North Mountain. They marched in the night, and at sunrise they saw the mountains of grain. Just as the horsemen began starting the fire, Zhang He and his troops arrived. When Cao Cao heard of this he sent Xu Huang from the rear, and Huang Zhong was surrounded. Zhang Zhu and some troops tried to escape but he was intercepted by Wen Ping. They were both surrounded, and when Huang Zhong did not return to camp at noon, Zhao Yun went to look for him.

Zhao Yun told Zhang Yi to guard the camp carefully, and have arches and crossbowmen on both sides on the base. Zhao Yun dashed to the foot of North Mountain to find Huang Zhong surrounded. He rescued Huang Zhong, but then they quickly surrounded him. Cao Cao and his army went in pursuit. Zhao Yun fought his way to the main camp, but when he heard that Zhang Zhu was wounded and fell behind he went back to rescue him.

When Zhang Yi heard that Cao Cao's army was in pursuit of Zhao Yun, and was headed towards the main camp he thought they should bar up the gates and while they make preparation. But as soon as Zhao Yun returned to camp he ordered all flags and banners dropped, all drums silenced, and the gates to be left open completely. He stationed all his archers and crossbowmen in a covered area outside, and he stood in front of the gates. Fearing an ambush, Cao Cao ordered his men to retreat. As his men began to retreat Zhao Yun ordered his men to beat the drums as loudly as they could, and rain arrows down on Cao Cao's troops.

Zhao Yun, Huang Zhong, and Zhang Zhu closed down on the retreating Wei army. They rushed toward the River Han, and in confusion many were pushed in to the river and drowned. Meanwhile Meng Da and Liu Feng arrived and burned all the supplies at North Mountain.


Liu Bei came and inspected the battlefield and exclaimed, "Zhao Yun has valor through and through". He ordered a celebration to late that night honoring Zhao Yun. From then on, Liu Bei’s army called Zhao Yun “The General with Courage of a Tiger" .

Modern references

This battle is playable in ''Dynasty Warriors 5 Extreme Legends''. Zhao Yun and Huang Zhong follow very different paths even though they have the same level.

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